Asking God for faith

This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”:

Scripture: “Increase our faith” (Luke: 17, 5)


"We must profess our faith on a daily and hourly basis.

"To do this we do not need to express it in words, to preach or insist: the best sermon is expressed through our lives, through every human act and our relationship to all our surroundings. Of course, we need to constantly realize how much we need to be strengthened in our faith. We need a firm, unwavering faith in order to counteract all the obstacles which constantly arise in our path. It’s scary to think how little faith there is among people! How imperfect this faith is, how cold it is, and how often people are ready to deny it! But no arguments, no philosophical reasonings can stand up against true faith. ‘Our faith is the victory which has overcome the world!’ (1 John: 5, 4).

"We will be recognized by our deeds; let us be unswerving in our intent to live according to our faith, so that it not be impoverished because of inaction or fruitlessness. Feeling our weakness, during moments of uncertainty, during moments of exhaustion, let us constantly ask Our Heavenly Father: ‘Increase our faith!’

“In praying for this, we need to activate that which is already given to us – then it will increase and grow stronger. Faith creates obedience, and obedience increases faith. Faith also produces both knowledge and confidence. At first anxiously and timidly, one sets out on the way, where all support is found in the invisible, and then gradually, with increasing experience, one increases in knowledge as well. The ground becomes firmer under one’s legs, and they step more firmly and confidently, and then without hesitation or doubt we say: ‘I know in Whom I have believed’ (2Tim: 1, 12).”

Lewis’s faith, not in God’s existence, but in God’s goodness, was severely tested after Joy’s death. In the first part of the diary that he kept he wrote: "Not that am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not ‘So there’s no God after all’, but “So this is what God’s really like. Deceive yourself no longer’”, and, a little later, “Is God a clown who whips away your bowl of soup one moment in order, next moment, to replace it with another bowl of the same soup? Even nature isn’t such a clown as that. She never plays exactly the same tune twice”, and similar expressions.

Later on in the diary, as he becomes calmer, Lewis writes: “God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find our their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t…He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”

And, towards the end: "When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of ‘No answer’. It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, ‘Peace, child; you don’t understand.’ "

I often think of these words of Lewis’s about what He felt God to being saying.


“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)